From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2. A comic take on the "Cinderella" theme. Hazel is a determined witch who loves dirt, although the reason for this obsession is never revealed. She is delighted when her snobby stepsisters and stepmother call her "Cinderhazel." When the trio flies off to the Witches' Halloween Ball in hope that reclusive Prince Alarming will finally choose a bride, they leave her behind. Hazel, however, is unconcerned?she doesn't want to dance with "some hoity-toity prince" anyway. But when her Godwitch informs her that the Prince is really the "King of Dirt," Hazel is intrigued and zooms off to the palace on her once-broken broom, now magically transformed into a Hoopler vacuum cleaner. While Hazel and the Prince have their disagreements, true love wins out and they live "filthily ever after." Children will delight in Lattimore's humorous watercolor illustrations of green-faced witches with wild frazzled hair. However, while the plot adheres to the motifs of the traditional Cinderella tale, the premise isn't very imaginative. Some of Hazel's antics will surely provoke giggles, but the overall tone of the story is rather ho-hum. The text contains some clever wordplay, but one of Hazel's chants misses completely ("wing" is supposed to rhyme with "clean"). Despite the subtitle, Halloween is barely mentioned. With humorous gems such as Don Freeman's Space Witch (Puffin, 1979; o.p.) and Ellen Jackson's Cinder Edna (Lothrop, 1994) in most collections, feel free to sweep this one under the rug.?Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Cinderella meets Halloween in a twist on the old story, in which Lattimore (The Fool and the Phoenix, p. 951, etc.) capitalizes on dirt and the assumption that children revel in it. Cinderhazel and her broom-wielding stepsister-witches await the Witches' Halloween Ball. When the stepsisters command her to stop sweeping and go fly a broom, she retorts, ``This is what I'm good at! D-I-R-T!'' Her witchy godmother persuades her to go to the ball by tempting her with 15 filthy fireplaces at Prince Alarming's palace and changing her cracked broom into a smoke-spewing, high-flying vacuum cleaner. The more dirt the better is the slogan at the heart of this one-joke story, whose humor relies on mess rather than magic. Mutual love of dirt is what unites this ornery witch with her dirtball prince and they live ``filthily ever after.'' The feverishly smudged illustrations depict look-alike potato-faced witches amidst a constant swirling tornado of witch hats, brooms, soot, spiders, and party decorations. (Picture book. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.